Education

How to inspect a tire

Once every month, or before you embark upon long road trips, check your tires for wear and damage problems. One easy way to check for wear is by using the penny test. All you have to do is grab your spare change and follow 3 easy steps.

  • Take a penny and hold Abe's body between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest and place Lincoln's head into one of the grooves.
  • If any part of Abe Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the legal and safe amount of tread. If your tread gets below that (approximately 2/32 of an inch), your car's ability to grip the road in adverse conditions is greatly reduced.

For more serious problems, try our easy-to-use online tire inspection tool below to help you identify issues and learn how to fix them. ((And if you need new tires, there’s an easy-to-use Find a Tire Tool at the top of the page.)

To make sure your car's tread is road-ready, do the Penny Test below.